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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 6/27/2024, Last updated: 6/27/2024
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Purdue’s Edey, Iowa’s Clark Named Big Ten Athletes of the Year

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ROSEMONT, Ill. – Purdue University basketball center Zach Edey has been selected as the 2023-24 Big Ten Conference Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year, and University of Iowa basketball guard Caitlin Clark has been recognized as the 2023-24 Big Ten Conference Female Athlete of the Year, the conference announced Thursday.

Edey is the third Boilermaker student-athlete to earn Big Ten Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year honors, joining diver David Boudia in 2011 and basketball’s Glenn Robinson in 1994. Edey also joins former Ohio State wrestler Kyle Snyder, the 2017 and 2018 honoree, as the only repeat winners.

Edey is also eighth basketball student-athlete chosen as Big Ten Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year and the first since Iowa’s Luka Garza in 2021. In addition to Edey, Robinson and Garza, the other basketball recipients of the Big Ten Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year have been Indiana’s Steve Alford (1987), Michigan’s Glen Rice (1989), Ohio State’s Evan Turner (2010), and Michigan State’s Draymond Green (2012) and Denzel Valentine (2016).

Likewise, Clark joins field hockey standout Kristy Gleason in 1994 and basketball great Megan Gustafson in 2019 as award winners from Iowa and becomes the third repeat winner in the award’s 42-year history, joining Wisconsin’s Suzy Favor and Indiana’s Lilly King.

This marks the 10th time a basketball student-athlete has captured the Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year award. Along with the selections of Clark and Gustafson, other basketball recipients have been Purdue’s Joy Holmes (1991), MaChelle Joseph (1992), Stephanie White (1999) and Katie Douglas (2001), Penn State’s Kelly Mazzante (2004), Ohio State’s Jessica Davenport (2007), and Minnesota’s Rachel Banham (2016).

After posting one of the most-statistically dominant seasons in college basketball history in 2022-23, Edey improved on it in 2023-24. Edey averaged 25.2 points, 12.2 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 2.0 assists and shot 62.3 percent from the field and 71.1 percent from the free throw line, while leading the Boilermakers to their first Final Four since 1980 and NCAA championship game appearance since 1969. He is the only player in NCAA history to average at least 25.0 points, 12.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 2.0 assists per game.

A 7-4 center from Toronto, Edey swept all six major National Player of the Year awards for the second straight year, becoming the first player since UCLA’s Bill Walton (1972, 1973) to accomplish the feat. His 12 major National Player of the Year honors are the second most in NCAA history, behind only Ralph Sampson’s 14. For the second consecutive year, Edey also received the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award given to the nation’s top center and the Pete Newell Award given to the nation’s top post player.

Edey joins Elvin Hayes in 1968 as the only players in NCAA history to record at least 983 points and 474 rebounds in a season and becomes the first player to lead the country in points and rebounds since Hank Gathers did so in 1989.

Edey was at his best during Purdue’s 2024 NCAA Tournament run. His 177 points in the NCAA Tournament were the third most in March Madness tournament history. Edey became the first player since 1975 to have at least 30 points, 20 rebounds, two assists and two blocks in an NCAA Tournament game, when he did so against Grambling in the first round. Edey’s 37 points in the NCAA Championship game were also the fourth most in title-game history and the most since 1978.

Clark was named the consensus National Player of the Year in 2023-24, earning 12 National Player of the Year accolades. The West Des Moines, Iowa native was also recently honored as recipient of the 2024 Honda Cup Award winner and named Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year.

Clark led the nation in 10 statistical categories, including 31.6 points per game, 8.9 assists per game, 201 three-pointers made, and six triple-doubles, while leading Iowa to a 34-5 record and its second consecutive Big Ten regular season and tournament titles and a return trip to the NCAA championship game.

In addition to her third consecutive Big Ten Tournament Most Valuable Player honor, Clark was a unanimous All-Big Ten First Team selection, becoming the first Iowa women’s basketball player to earn four First Team All-Big Ten honors.

Clark is the only player in NCAA DI men’s or women’s basketball history to lead her conference in scoring and assists in four consecutive seasons and the first Division-I player to surpass 3,800 points, 1,000 assists, and 950 rebounds in a career. She is the first Division I player to notch back-to-back 1,000 point seasons and the sixth to collect more than 1,000 career assists.

This season, Clark recorded 1,234 points, breaking Kelsey Plum’s NCAA single season scoring mark, en route to collecting 3,951 points throughout her career, surpassing “Pistol” Pete Maravich as the NCAA’s men’s or women’s all-time leading scorer. Clark also owns the NCAA’s all-time field goals mark of 1,293.

Clark’s 59 games with at least 30 points are the most in men’s or women’s basketball over the last 25 seasons, while her 20 games with at least 30 points and 10 assists are 18 more than any other women’s basketball players during the same span.

Edey and Clark were among a high-powered field of 28 nominees (one male and one female per Big Ten school) that included eight national champions, 26 All-Americans, 15 conference champions, 12 conference Players of the Year and nine standouts who collected at least one national player of the year accolade.

The Big Ten Conference has recognized a Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year since 1982 and first honored a Female Athlete of the Year in 1983. The Big Ten Athletes of the Year are selected by a panel of conference media members from nominations submitted by each institution.

The complete list of 2023-24 Athlete of the Year nominations, as well as the list of all-time winners for each award, can be found below.

Illinois: Terrence Shannon Jr., basketball; Rose Yeboah, track & field
Indiana: Carson Tyler, swimming & diving; Anna Peplowski, swimming & diving
Iowa: Real Woods, wrestling; Caitlin Clark, basketball
Maryland: Ajax Zappitello, lacrosse; Emily Sterling, lacrosse
Michigan: Blake Corum, football; Kari Miller, tennis
Michigan State: Heath Baldwin, track & field; Skyla Schulte, gymnastics
Minnesota: Isaiah Salazar, wrestling; Vivi Del Angel, swimming & diving
Nebraska: Darius Luff, track & field; Eleanor Dale, soccer
Northwestern: Daniel Svärd, Golf; Lauren Wadas, field hockey
Ohio State: JJ Tracy, tennis; Jacy Sheldon, basketball
Penn State: Aaron Brooks, wrestling; Bridget Nemeth, softball
Purdue: Zach Edey, basketball; Eva Hudson, volleyball
Rutgers: Josh Kuroda-Grauer, baseball; Chloe Timberg, track & field
Wisconsin: Kyle McClellan, ice hockey; Sarah Franklin, volleyball


1982 - Jim Spivey, Indiana, cross country/track & field
1983 - Ed Banach, Iowa, wrestling
1984 - Sunder Nix, Indiana, track & field
1985 - Barry Davis, Iowa, wrestling
1986 - Chuck Long, Iowa, football
1987 - Steve Alford, Indiana, basketball
1988 - Jim Abbott, Michigan, baseball
1989 - Glen Rice, Michigan, basketball
1990 - Anthony Thompson, Indiana, football
1991 - Mike Barrowman, Michigan, swimming
1992 - Desmond Howard, Michigan, football
1993 - John Roethlisberger, Minnesota, gymnastics
1994 - Glenn Robinson, Purdue, basketball
1995 - Tom Dolan, Michigan, swimming
1996 - Eddie George, Ohio State, football
1997 - Blaine Wilson, Ohio State, gymnastics
1998 - Charles Woodson, Michigan, football
1999 - Luke Donald, Northwestern, golf
2000 - Ron Dayne, Wisconsin, football
2001 - Ryan Miller, Michigan State, ice hockey
2002 - Jordan Leopold, Minnesota, ice hockey
2003 - Amer Delic, Illinois, tennis & Matt Lackey, Illinois, wrestling
2004 - Damion Hahn, Minnesota, wrestling
2005 - Luis Vargas, Penn State, gymnastics
2006 - Peter Vanderkaay, Michigan, swimming
2007 - Cole Konrad, Minnesota, wrestling
2008 - Brent Metcalf, Iowa, wrestling
2009 - Jake Herbert, Northwestern, wrestling
2010 - Evan Turner, Ohio State, basketball
2011 - David Boudia, Purdue, diving
2012 - Draymond Green, Michigan State, basketball
2013 - Derek Drouin, Indiana, track & field
2014 - David Taylor, Penn State, wrestling
2015 - Logan Stieber, Ohio State, wrestling
2016 - Denzel Valentine, Michigan State, basketball
2017 - Kyle Snyder, Ohio State, wrestling
2018 - Kyle Snyder, Ohio State, wrestling
2019 - Bo Nickal, Penn State, wrestling
2020 - Chase Young, Ohio State, football
2021 - Luka Garza, Iowa, basketball
2022 - Gable Steveson, Minnesota, wrestling
2023 - Zach Edey, Purdue, basketball
2024 – Zach Edey, Purdue, basketball

1983 - Judi Brown, Michigan State, track & field
1984 - Lisa Ishikawa, Northwestern, softball 1985 & Cathy Branta, Wisconsin, cross country/track & field
1986 - Stephanie Herbst, Wisconsin, cross country/track & field
1987 - Jennifer Averill, Northwestern, field hockey/lacrosse
1988 - Suzy Favor, Wisconsin, cross country/track & field
1989 - Suzy Favor, Wisconsin, cross country/track & field
1990 - Suzy Favor, Wisconsin, cross country/track & field
1991 - Julie Farrell-Ovenhouse, Michigan State, diving & Joy Holmes, Purdue, basketball
1992 - MaChelle Joseph, Purdue, basketball
1993 - Lara Hooiveld, Michigan, swimming
1994 - Kristy Gleason, Iowa, field hockey
1995 - Laura Davis, Ohio State, volleyball
1996 - Olga Kalinovskaya, Penn State, fencing
1997 - Kathy Butler, Wisconsin, track & field & Gretchen Hegener, Minnesota, swimming
1998 - Sara Griffin, Michigan, softball
1999 - Stephanie White-McCarty, Purdue, basketball
2000 - Lauren Cacciamani, Penn State, volleyball
2001 - Katie Douglas, Purdue, basketball
2002 - Christie Welsh, Penn State, soccer
2003 - Perdita Felicien, Illinois, track & field
2004 - Kelly Mazzante, Penn State, basketball
2005 - Jennie Ritter, Michigan, softball
2006 - Tiffany Weimer, Penn State, soccer
2007 - Jessica Davenport, Ohio State, basketball
2008 - Hannah Nielsen, Northwestern, lacrosse
2009 - Maria Hernandez, Purdue, golf
2010 - Megan Hodge, Penn State, volleyball
2011 - Shannon Smith, Northwestern, lacrosse
2012 - Christina Manning, Ohio State, track & field
2013 - Amanda Kessel, Minnesota, ice hockey 
2014 - Dani Bunch, Purdue, track & field
2015 - Taylor Cummings, Maryland, lacrosse
2016 - Rachel Banham, Minnesota, basketball 
2017 - Lilly King, Indiana, swimming
2018 - Lilly King, Indiana, swimming
2019 - Megan Gustafson, Iowa, basketball
2020 - Dana Rettke, Wisconsin, volleyball
2021 - Sarah Bacon, Minnesota, diving
2022 - Dana Rettke, Wisconsin, volleyball
2023 - Caitlin Clark, Iowa, basketball
2024 – Cailtin Clark, Iowa, basketball